|Chen came through in a huge way for the O's in Game 2. (US Presswire)|
Quick Hits: Cardinals crush Nats to even series
The Orioles have defeated the Yankees, 3-2, to tie the best-of-five ALDS at one game apiece.
Hero: I'm going with Wei-Yin Chen. As they so often have this season, the Orioles won this one as a group, but Chen's outing stuck out. Coming off a brutal ninth-inning loss, the Orioles needed a big performance in what I believe was a must-win game from a guy who has never made a playoff start in Major League Baseball. And Chen worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one earned run. He gave up eight hits, but made nearly all the big pitches he needed to make to strand Yankees on the basepaths (we'll get to that).
Goat: Have to give this to the entire Yankees' offense in terms of getting runners home. The Yankees racked up 13 baserunners and were only able to plate two of them. That won't get the job done most of the time, especially in the postseason.
Turning point: The Orioles' two-out rally in the third inning. Consider the ninth-inning meltdown less than 24 hours previously, and then consider the Yankees had an early 1-0 lead on Ichiro's wacky acrobatics at home plate and then consider that Pettitte retired the first eight Orioles. It was early, sure, but things could have gotten pretty somber in Camden Yards. But then Robert Andino singled, followed by a Nate McLouth single and J.J. Hardy walk. And then, ultimately the turning point, came Chris Davis' two-RBI single. The Orioles never looked back, even if they never ran away from the Yankees.
It was over when: Closer Jim Johnson closed the door in the ninth inning, striking out Alex Rodriguez to end the game. Otherwise the game was always in doubt, a one-run affair for much of the night. With the power the Yankees possess, a one-run lead can never be considered safe, even with the Orioles' stellar bullpen. It's worth noting again that including the regular season and postseason, the Orioles are 30-9 in one-run games. Amazing.
Next: They'll head to New York for Game 3. For now, the game is scheduled for 7:37 p.m. ET, but it will shift to 8:37 p.m. ET if both the Tigers-A's and Reds-Giants series are sweeps. Miguel Gonzalez (9-4, 3.25) gets the ball for the visiting Orioles while Hiroki Kuroda (16-11, 3.32) will pitch for the Yankees.